Solr exposes the capacities of Lucene on the web, in open source. Solr is a web layer, based on Lucene. It adds functionnalites such as: web server, faceting, web pages for administration, clustering. Datafari uses Solr as its search and indexing engine.

It is not a complete search system able to connect to data and display results. It is a reliable backbone, able to scale through machines clustering, easily manageable, and supporting REST calls.


You can get more information on the Solr technical website. As for Lucene, Solr is part of the Apache Lucene project.
As such, it is available under the Apache v2 license. France Labs proposes its expertise to install, configure, extend and maintain Solr on your systems.

Apache Lucene/Solr is the reference open source search engine. It proposes advanced functionalites, it is easily configurable, and it is as good as many proprietary software. A search engine, it's a building block which can digest a massive amount of data, and makes it available to users through a clever and well known user interface, in milliseconds.

Historically, Apache Lucene/Solr is an evolution of the Apache Lucene project. The latter is the heart of the search engine. But it is now just a subset of the functionnalities of the Apache Lucene/Solr project. In addition, Lucene is a Java API, so it needs to be programmatically integrated into source code, whereas Solr is embedded into a servlet, which makes it easier to use.

Apache Lucene/Solr is the product with the largest community of contributors, coming from companies such as LucidWorks, Shopzilla, Cloudera and Adobe. Lucene/Solr has 2 points guaranteeing is perenetty. First, the diversity of its committers, which makes it resilient to changes of strategy or of people. Second, it is owned and managed by the Apache foundation, whichs removes the potential risk of an acquisition by a company.

Solr use cases

It is not obvious to imagine all the possible uses of Apache Lucene/Solr, that is why we expose here some of them.

  • Big Data : Apache Lucene/Solr is the ideal companion to tools such as Hadoop. It is not for nothing that it is the solution used by MapR and Cloudera. Hadoop provides the building blocks for Big Data: storage and analysis. But the front-end, the one that allows users to exploit big data, is not part of Hadoop.
    Lucene/Solr comes into play to allow users for mining into data stored in Hadoop. It is one thing to store peta-bytes of data, it is another to find relevant information.
    Lucene/Solr is also used in Front-End for exploiting the outcome of the analytic treatments done by Hadoop.
    Use case: Linkedin analyses the relationship between people using Hadoop, and then puts the results as additional data into the Solr, in order to instantaneously display results among persons, when a user connects to is account.
  • eCommerce: Apache Lucene/Solr enhances the conversion rate of eCommerce site, thanks to its functionnalities of search and suggest.
    It allows customers to find quickly the products they desire, and to receive suggestions on additional products. For instance, Lucene/Solr is the engine used by etsy, and the NASA.